Hormonal acne treatments you should try immediately

Hormonal acne is horrible. That’s it. If you thought hormonal acne was only for teenagers, we’re sorry to break the bad news. You can have hormonal acne at any point in adulthood because our hormone levels continue to change throughout our lifetimes, even when we’re well past puberty.

While adult acne is unavoidable for some, there are some hormonal acne treatments that can prevent and manage breakouts, leaving you with clear, glowing skin from here on out.

A woman putting a treatment on her acne.
Anna Nekrashevich/Pexels

What hormonal acne is and who can get it

Hormonal acne is acne caused by changes in the hormones that increase your sebum production. In regulated amounts, these lipids make your skin look moisturized and youthful. Unfortunately, too much sebum production can make skin extra oily, clogging up your pores and contributing to acne. Beyond hormones, diet and stress can also contribute to adult acne.

Breakouts at the lower half of your face along your jawline and cheeks are the most popular spots for hormonal acne. Further, they are also not your usual whiteheads and blackheads but rather small bumps that may be painful and tender to touch. This means that tackling hormonal acne means managing all of the factors that contribute to changes in hormone levels like medications, eating disorders, and stress.

Unfortunately, women are more prone to hormonal acne because there are more biological processes that affect hormone levels, often on a monthly basis. Pregnancy, diet, menstruation, medication (especially hormonal birth control), and stress all impact hormone levels in women’s bodies.

Skin care products laid out on a table.
Vie Studio/Pexels

How you can treat hormonal acne

While it is near impossible to prevent hormonal changes, there are myriad ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Not all serums were created equal, and different products are optimized to treat different conditions. To manage this specific type of acne, you need a solution with retinol. This alcohol boosts collagen production, reducing fine lines and improving skin tone. By increasing hydration and elasticity, this ingredient can also clear your pores without irritating your skin. Retinol serums are very effective but other products, like creams, moisturizers, and masks, that include this ingredient are great options as well.
  • Chemical peels certainly aren’t made for everyday use, but when used appropriately, they can revolutionize your skin. These peels remove whatever is clogging your pores, peeling away the top layer of skin to reveal the fresh skin cells underneath. Be careful, read the instructions, and do not do a peel more than recommended. If it’s your first time, do a small patch test to ensure your skin doesn’t react negatively.
  • Vitex is a supplement that eases PMS and period-related symptoms by balancing out your hormones, specifically progesterone. If you prefer natural remedies, this is the solution for you as it’s made from one ingredient: vitex berry extract. This solution needs time to work, so with some patience, you’ll start to see results in about a month.
  • Tea tree oil will greatly reduce inflammation and relieve a bit of the pain and pressure from hormonal acne cysts. You can either look for a face wash that has tea tree oil in it or use your own essential oil as a serum. If you use your own, make sure you dilute it properly before applying it to your skin. This solution won’t prevent hormonal acne, but it will certainly relieve the worst of the symptoms.

Hormonal acne is terrible, and to add insult to injury, it can be much worse for people managing periods or pregnancy. Unfortunately, many of us will deal with adult acne, especially hormonal acne, for a large part of our lives. To manage it effectively, stay informed about how to treat it and make some lifestyle changes that promote hormonal balance like maintaining a proper diet, managing stress, and keeping an eye on your medications.

Remember that you are not alone, and there are many products and solutions available to tackle all of your skin woes. While no one knows how to get rid of hormonal acne for good, we can at least help you take care of it when it comes back around.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

Editors' Recommendations